The ban on gay marriage in the state of California has been overruled by federal judge Vaughn Walker after a 13-day hearing.
Despite President Obama holding strong personal views against gay marriage, the US district court chief judge branded California’s Proposition eight – nicknamed ‘proposition hate’ by pro-gay rights lobby groups – as ‘unconstitutional’.
He advocated that the ban should be lifted, to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry while the case moves to a higher court for appeal. Proposition 8 supporters had argued to keep the ban in place pending the outcome of their appeal.
According to reports in the Guardian, in a 136-page ruling Mr Walker said the lawsuit challenging the ban ‘demonstrated by overwhelming evidence’ that it violates equal-protection rights under the US constitution.
The controversial ban was passed with 52 per cent of the vote, after the ballot was sponsored by the group Protect Marriage. However, the latest law suit against the ban was filed by two gay couples who claimed the ban violated their civil rights. The case will now go to appeal and possibly to the Supreme Court.